G’day to a new director and land for Stuarts Point Sewerage Scheme

Published on 18 October 2022


Welcoming a new Director, securing land for Stuarts Point Sewerage Scheme and acknowledging the amount of development in the Kempsey Shire were just some of the items discussed at the October Ordinary Meeting of Kempsey Shire Council.

Welcome Michael Jackson as the new Director of Operations and Planning 

Michael Jackson started at Council on Monday 17 October.

Mr Jackson has over 25 years of experience leading multi-disciplinary teams, most recently at Penrith City Council. His skill set as an architect, project manager and strategic leader will be a valuable addition to Council.

Securing the site for the Stuarts Point Sewerage Scheme

After valuable discussion around benefits to residents and confirmation of no objections from Department of Planning and Environment, Council resolved to acquire land on Fishermans Reach Road for the Stuarts Point Sewerage Scheme.

The parcel of land is at least 400 metres from houses and will enable Council to construct and operate a modern wastewater treatment plant to service the communities of Stuarts Point, Grassy Head and Fishermans Reach.

The business paper Councillors considered outlined the four-year process that has been undertaken involving due diligence and negotiations with First Nations people.

Councillors commended staff on the progression of the project, noting the technology advancements and treatment process improvements mean residents can be assured the scheme will eliminate odours and water quality issues associated with the current on-site sewerage management systems.

Council will now provide an application to the Minister and Governor to secure the land and then classify this as operational land before continuing their commitment to delivering the sewerage scheme.


Giddy up for Kempsey Cup and Kempsey Show part-day local events

Council agreed to submit applications to the Minister to declare the 2023 Kempsey Cup and Kempsey Show as part-day events.

If the applications are approved by the Minister, the dates for next year’s events are:

  • The Kempsey Show – Wednesday, 19 April 2023
  • The Kempsey Cup – Friday, 10 November 2023

Amending fees and charges

Some landholders on the Lower Macleay Floodplain have flood mitigation drains on their properties. Council discussed an amendment to the 2022-23 Fees and Charges to offer a helping hand to these landholders. This would see development application fees waived should they wish to build a timber bridge over these drains.

While discussing this item, all Councillors accepted an amendment to the motion that if there are state government fees, Council will advocate these to be waived or reduced, in support of property owners.

Council operations over the festive season 

Councillors agreed to close its offices from 1pm Friday 24 December 2022 and reopen on Tuesday 3 January 2023 for the Christmas and New Year period. This includes Council’s Administration Centre, Libraries and Depot.

The shut down will have no impact on Council’s financial sustainability as all employees will have sufficient leave to cover the shutdown.

Lodgement of Disclosure of Interests

Councillors noted their lodgement and tabling of the Disclosure of Interest Returns as required by the Code of Conduct.

Lack of planners and impacts of natural disasters on development

The quarterly report on development activity statistics and Local Environmental Plan variations for the first quarter of the 2022-23 financial year was noted.

This prompted a discussion by Councillors and executive staff around the lack of qualified planning staff nationwide and the impact this has had on the duration of processing development applications. In addition to the national lack of certifiers and planners, increasing natural disasters and a growing number of development applications were outlined as key issues.

The reviewing process of the Kempsey Local Environmental Plan was also brought up, with General Manager Craig Milburn stating the shire’s plan will be updated over the next 18 months.

Order of Business considered in open session

9.1      Stuarts Point Sewerage Scheme - Land Acquisition

9.2      2023 Local Event Day Applications

9.3      Amendment to FY2022-2023 Development Assessment fees

9.4      Council Offices, Libraries & Depot 2022 Christmas - New Year Closedown

9.5      Disclosure of Interest Returns

9.6      Development Activity and LEP Variations - Quarterly Snapshot - 1st Quarter

9.7      Statement of Cash and Investments - September 2022 

More information

The October Ordinary Council meeting was held in Council Chambers from 9am on Tuesday 18 September.

A video of the entire meeting can be viewed on Council's YouTube page and on the Kempsey Shire Council website.

For a full outline of the meeting and the discussion points, please refer to the Agenda and Business Papers.